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Hawaii restaurants

The native Hawaiian diet once revolved around a few root vegetables, fruit, wild boar, and fish. But several factors moved Hawaiian cuisine far beyond those humble beginnings: Laborers who came from China, Japan, Portugal, Korea, and the Philippines to work the sugar cane plantations brought a panoply of new flavors; the influx of hippies and professional athletes brought a new health consciousness; and luxury hotels and resorts introduced Continental tastes. Today, many restaurants in Hawaii reflect these cultural currents combined with native traditions—a phenomenon that in the early '90s became known as Hawaii regional cuisine, spearheaded by a band of a dozen now-famous chefs, including Beverly Gannon, George Mavrothalassitis, Peter Merriman, and Alan Wong. Its hallmark is a use of fresh, local ingredients to concoct haute or healthy renditions of traditional dishes such as grilled short ribs, poke (marinated raw fish), shredded pork, and lau lau (meat and fish wrapped in leaves and steamed). The original (greasier) versions are typically sold as $7 mixed plates at roadside lunch shacks. Outside Hawaii's upscale restaurants, island food tends to focus on red meat and can be salty (vegetarians and heart patients, take heed). But there is also plenty of fresh fish and fruit: Check out the numerous roadside farmers' markets, and if you see a guy selling coconuts by the side of the road, buy one and have him stick a straw in it for you. The sweet liquid inside is the distilled essence of Hawaii—and more memorable than any mai tai.

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Pele's Other Garden, Lanai City, Lanai, Hawaii

By day, it's a deli and sandwich shop; by night, cloth goes on the tables and casual Italian cuisine hits the plates. Go for the bruschetta—crispy and...more

see the Lanai guide
Editors' Pick
Pauwela Café, Haiku, Maui, Hawaii

While Paia is primarily a surfer town, Haiku, a few miles east on the Hana Highway, is the windsurfer hangout of choice. Down-to-earth Pauwela Café is...more

see the Maui guide
Editors' Pick
Pacific'o on the Beach, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

This oceanfront restaurant is a far cry from the rowdy, tacky venues farther down on Front Street advertising a sunset view with dinner. Exclusive but relaxed,...more

see the Maui guide
Editors' Pick
OLA, Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii

Where the rinky-dink beach concession stand of Turtle Bay Resort once stood, this sexy open-air restaurant now lets the waves practically lap at your table. Ola...more

see the Oahu guide
Editors' Pick
Ocean Grill, Lanai, Hawaii

Formerly the Beach Restaurant, this informal spot for lunch and dinner at Manele Bay was upgraded when the Four Seasons took over in late 2005. Open-air seating...more

see the Lanai guide
Editors' Pick
Nanea Restaurant & Bar, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

While the condos of the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas are generic and too far from the ocean for us to recommend, the property's unpretentious...more

see the Kauai guide
Editors' Pick
Morimoto Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto has arrived in Hawaii with his usual pomp and circumstance, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Waikiki Edition hotel. Sure,...more

see the Oahu guide
Editors' Pick
MonkeyPod Kitchen, Kihei, Hawaii

This casual, family-friendly restaurant in a convenient mini mall on the highway to Wailea prides itself on its fine selection of microbrews and hearty...more

see the Maui guide
Editors' Pick
Merriman's, Kamuela, Big Island, Hawaii

It feels like a little place you've discovered, but many have already raved about Peter Merriman, one of 11 top chefs in the state who spearheaded the Hawaii...more

see the Big Island guide
Editors' Pick
Mermaids, Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii

Wraps don't usually inspire passionate praise, but not all wraps contain seared tuna, nutty brown rice, cucumber slices, and pickled ginger doused in a heavenly...more

see the Kauai guide
Editors' Pick
Results 11-20 of 50  | previous   1 2 3 4 5 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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